the project

Renovation included extensive use of interior and exterior seismic expansion joint systems.

Architect: Esherick Homey Dodge & Davis - San Francisco, CA

Contractor: Nibbi Brothers - San Francisco, CA

Expansion Joint Contractor: Expansion Specialties, Inc. - Henderson, Nev

The Project

The $220 million Exploratorium is located in the heart of San Francisco’s waterfront. Hands-on exhibits explore biology, physics, listening, cognition, visual perception, social behavior, and the environment.

The built space of 330,000 square feet includes quintessential Exploratorium exhibits in four galleries; space for professional teacher training, after-school programs, educational camps and lifelong learning; a theater; the Exploratorium store; and a café.

Inpro® Products Used

JointMaster provided the entire expansion joint and barrier package for the Exploratorium project.  Almost 1,500 linear feet of interior and exterior seismic expansion joints are used throughout the building.  Joint widths varied from 8" to as wide as 27".  Of that, nearly 95 percent of the joint systems were custom designed and built, including several joints incorporating 3/8" thick aluminum diamond plate.

Because the Exploratorium is built over the water, designers specified Kynar® coatings on many of the joint systems to fight salt-water effects.  In addition, waterproof fire barrier was incorporated where specified.

And in the spirit and style of the Exploratorium, there is a display dedicated to the expansion joints used, helping visitors and students understand a building’s constant battle with Mother Nature, and how expansion joints help a building withstand thermal and seismic movement.